The Spider Valves amp models pay tribute to everything from a Hiwatt, a Bassman and a Plexi to a Dual Rectifier
As pioneers of all things modelling including the groundbreaking Pod and Vetta solid state amps, Line 6 have been long been aware that a favoured Pod set up is to hook it up to a decent valve amp. How about producing an all-in-one amp version? Line 6 pondered and did nothing – until they were ready to do it properly.
The Spider Valve is the result. It’s a collaboration between Line 6 and Reinhold Bogner, a world-class boutique amp maker in his own right who had been designing and building amplifiers long before relocating from his native Germany to LA in the late ’80s. Finding himself in the hair metal epicentre of the world, he quickly gained the trust of many influential players including Allan Holdsworth and Steve Vai, who sought out his skill at modifying and custom-building amps. When Eddie Van Halen‘s fabled Marshall plexi required a service and MOT it was Bogner who got the task. Eddie was pleased, and Bogner Amplification was born.
Bogner‘s input to the Spider Valve project was to create an all-tube amp specifically voiced to work in harmony with the Line 6 digital modelling section. The result is a complete 40W class A/B tube amp with twin matched 6L6 power tubes and a pair of Chinese-made 12AX7-B tubes driving the preamp. The digital front end houses all the gizmos needed to model the various amp and effects on offer, the results of which are transmitted via a pair of quality Celestion 30 speakers in an open-backed cab.
The angled front panel is host to a well laid-out control panel above a smart grille cloth with a Line 6 logo plus a smaller Bogner legend in the top right corner. Around the back lurk the Pod and XLR direct out, extension speaker output and FBV pedal input options (more of which later). The balanced DI out lets you use the Pod section for recording minus the speaker and tube section of the amp; a power amp input allows you to plug a Pod XT Live directly into the output section of the amp, disconnecting the preamp. It’s a versatile, user-friendly package which also allows you to plug into a 4×12" should you wish or hook up two or more Spider Valve combos together.
SPIDER VALVE 212
Description: 40W Class A/B valve amp with two 12AX7s and two 6L6 power tubes. Two 12" Celestion Vintage 30 speakers. 12 amp models, 36 programmable channels and 200-plus presets, seven effects including Tape Echo, Sweep Echo, Standard Delay (all with Tap Tempo) Chorus/Flanger, Phaser, Tremolo, and Reverb. Built-in front panel tuner. Pod XLR direct out. Compatible with FBV2, FBV Express and FBV Shortboard foot controllers. Single and dual 1/4" cab output jacks, 1/4" power amp input jack for Pod amp and effect modellers
Front Panel: Input jack; 12 mode amp model knob; Drive, Bass, Mid, Treble and Channel controls; four Channel buttons; Modulation knob; delay rotary knob; Tap Tempo/Tuner button; Reverb control; navigator and channel display panel; Master Volume and Presence controls; Standby and Power switches; blue power LED
Rear Panel: Power inlet; fuse; FBV pedal inlet (not supplied); Direct out XLR jack; ground lift slider switch; preamp in and out jacks; A and B speaker jacks
Dimensions: 762mm wide, 635mm high, 381mm deep
Options: Spider Valve HD100 100W head (£700) and 4×12" cab (£608)
Contact: Line 6
The Spider Valve is a wonderful stab at a do-it-all amp. Once youve learned about those hidden functions its intuitive to use and set up and has bags of great sounds at volumes to suit bedroom use, recording or full-on gigging. The lasting impression is of sheer fun: its easy to spend a good few too many hours twiddling knobs, cracking out the appropriate riff for the sound and nodding smugly to yourself. All in all, a very sticky bun full of delights: the only fly hovering above it is the price of the footboard required to use it live and thats the market its primarily aimed at.